Defending nepotism

“Nepotism” originally referred to the need to find cushy jobs in the church for papal bastards, euphemistically called his “nephews”: nepoti. Today’s advocates of nepotism have acknowledged fathers, but they’re still a bunch of bastards in my book. More here.

Update No, linking to my sister’s essay, which I’ve been looking forward to reading ever since she told me she was writing it, wasn’t intended as some sort of ironic comment about nepotism. Nepotism is favoring family over others in situations where everyone is entitled to an even break, such as awarding a job, or using one’s influence to cause other people to favor one’s family members in such situations. It has no more in common with ordinary family feeling than the antics of Robin Hood had to do with ordinary almsgiving.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com